10 Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Translator in Nepal

Language translators and facilitators’ services in Nepal haven’t yet been industrialized. You cannot call it a fraternity yet!

Nepali language translators and facilitators’ services are mostly served by freelancing translators and only a few dedicated companies are in Nepali market. While you may be able to find a number of notary translators in the market, mostly served by the notary barristers, they lack expertise in other fields excluding the field they practice – law. Hence, finding a good and reliable translator can be an ordeal based on calculating individual skills. I am trying to solve the equation for you.

1. Find an agency

Working with a company is far more convenient than working with a freelancer. While companies give a number of reasons for you to choose them, the only thing that differentiates them with others is their market credibility and quality assurance systems. Thus, Googling about the agencies should first come into your mind while finding a translator in Nepal. Reaching to their websites and knowing more about their services will just help you to decide for the best. Agencies’ websites also serve as a point of reference.

2. Range of services

Translation jobs come with a range of services: simultaneous translation, consecutive translation, document translation including legal, medical and other fields. For you to find the right fit, you also need to be sure of your needs and requirements. Finding an agency that provides all range of services including legal or certified translation is a key to get your job done. Make sure you reach out to them to explore all the possible range including the language they offer their services on.

3. Quote

Translation business in Nepali is dominated by freelancers and so do their quotes differ. Differences in quotes are based on the type of translation services you are looking to hire. Document translation and simultaneous translation jobs are priced differently. Many translators in Nepal define their translation fee based on the pages translated with certain page attributes. Some translators charge based on the words in the source document, while some charge based on pages. On the other hand, simultaneous translators charge either on an hourly basis or daily basis. It is always good to know about their quotes in advance and validity of the same.

4. Discount and offers

Before settling down upon a price, it’s always good to negotiate for a discount or offer. Such discounts may depend upon your negotiations, but most of the translation agencies offer discounts based on the volume of work and/or time.

5. Tax obligations

Almost all translators are wary in Nepal of the taxes to be paid from their earning. Thus, while asking for a quote, just ask them to be clear on the tax rates and the party responsible for paying them off. Normally, when it comes to an agency 13% VAT is added to the price while for freelancing translators, 15% TDS (tax deducted at source) is payable from the translator’s earning. When you get into a point of negotiating, the price come from them is likely to be exclusive of taxes. You don’t run out of your budget for not discussing this in advance.

6. Logistic Arrangements

Part of your deal, in case you want your translator to travel and stay with you, will also cover logistic arrangement for the translators. Translators in Nepal assume that the client will have pay for any travel they would make for the work. You may not want to end up arguing just because you didn’t bring this thing while finalizing the deal.

7. Sectoral expertise

It is very hard to imagine for someone having expertise in a certain issue translating for an issue completely new to him/her. You always want someone with some knowledge about the field you work with to have as a translator. This is a very difficult thing for a freelance, but the agencies, on another hand, can provide you with the person matching the field of expertise you are looking for. Usually, the agencies maintain a pool of language translators coming from the diverse field of experiences and match their clients’ need accordingly. Additionally, providing a list of terminologies and the way of interpretation you want your translator to do is always helpful. Discussing liberty in terms of translators to translate word by word (for e.g. in case of verbatim) or making them little able to have some modifications without altering the sense would help them a lot.

8. Terms of payment

Assuming you would ask your translating agency to have a mutually agreed contract, make sure you thoroughly read and understand. Among others, terms of payment make a big sense here. It is imperative to know when your translator/agency can expect payment from you and in what form should be clearly dealt and mutually agreed upon before you start working. Not stating the obvious, having a copy of contract safe with you will also put you in safe side in case any tensions arise.

9. After sales services

It is difficult for a freelance to keep what I call: translation memory. Translation memory is a memory of terminologies is something you and your translator gradually build on while working together. Agencies play smart with this, they keep track on the translators their clients work with and also employ relevant software. Also, you can clearly know about after sales services agencies provide, which is not a clear option with freelancers. After sales services, for those uninitiated, includes incorporating and co-building final document with the client till a point of satisfaction is reached.

10. Find many in one!

For the majority of us, we want to have all document translation related services from a single vendor. Finding a translation agency can be a perfect match for the same. As localization agencies constantly try to widen their services, they may offer you with final designing and layout work, something without asking for an additional payment. Why bother finding different people for different works if you can find all your service requirement under a single name!

Good luck!

– Nikunja Bhandari